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Mind Mapping is great for being able to take complex ideas and break them down into more meaningful and easily digestible chunks. In this episode of the Mind Mapping Show we interview a Robotics Scientist who uses the technique to keep track of complex projects. Xander Soldaat is an Infrastructure Architect by day (something to do with IT projects) and a Robotics Scientist by night (something to do with clever Lego pieces!).
He was recently introduced to FreeMind by a client and now uses it all the time in both his work and in his nocturnal activities building lego robots. Whenever I interview fans of the Mind Map I generally get people who fall across two different spectrums. There are those who use software versus those that do it by hand and then there are those who are very structured and logical versus those who are more creative.
Xander falls into the quadrant of being highly technical and logical and is an avid user of Mind Mapping software in his application of the tool. However what we discover in this episode is how even using it in this way does stimulate his creativity (and his memory) when solving complex problems. My favourite quote from the whole interview originally comes from his blog and it is “Mind Mapping is great for you if you are bursting with ideas but cursed with the memory of a goldfish”. Additionally in this interview you will discover:
- How using Mind Mapping helps keep you motivated on tough projects
- How you can easily prioritise the conflicting demands on your precious time
- How a Free Software proved infinitely more reliable than easy-to-lose Post-It Notes
- The simple way to avoid overwhelm on complex and difficult projects
- The fastest way to give stakeholders in your work confidence in you
- How to focus & organise your thoughts AND improve your memory
Episode Show Notes
Although Xander is still new to Mind Mapping, he has become quite a sophisticated and prolific user of the the technique through his use of FreeMind (see below for details of where to get FreeMind from). Here are where you will find these key points that came out of the interview:
03:21 – Xander explains exactly what an Infrastructure Architect is
06:18 – Here Xander shares his nocturnal passion – he is a robot scientist!
09:08 – Find out how Xander discovered Mind Mapping and why he was initially sceptical
10:18 – why he felt the need to force himself to use the technique
12:59 – How he uses Mind Mapping to manage complex projects (including the benefit of doing so)
15:44 – How and why he limits himself to a certain number of branch levels
19:19 – His colleagues “interesting” reaction
21:11 – Why his wife doesn’t like them (you can’t please everyone I suppose!)
22:30 – I summarise the key points that emerged from my conversation with Xander
In the recording I promised that I would provide you with the two links we talked about in the interview.
You can Download FreeMind from here and you can find out more about a productivity system using Mind Mapping here.